Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving and a list ....

On this day where Americans take a moment to feast and enjoy the rigors of familial dynamics, I want to remember that while the turkey is delectable and the company entertaining, I have so much more to be thankful for!

* I am thankful for the provisions we have on a daily basis. When it seems we only have barely enough to get by I need to remember there are so many more who have nothing. I have been blessed with the measure of "just enough" and I will rejoice in that.

* I am thankful for my family: kids, husband, sisters, brothers, in laws, moms and dads... so many are left during the holidays feeling alone and lonely for their family or friends. I am generously equipped with both and find them a joy to be cherished.

* I am thankful that in this economy I am able to have a job, a means to feed my family and pay my bills. I will be thankful that the Lord stretches each penny to meet needs I didn't know I had. I am grateful that we can continue to live and work such an incredible life.

* I am thankful for my health and the health of my family. So many I know are struggling. To be blessed with the ability to move through my life with relative ease and comfort is something easily taken forgranted, but today I'm reminded that even that which rarely crosses my mind is a huge benefit. I am lucky to live in a culture and a country where health is generally promoted.

* I am thankful that I am able to write this post from the company of my husband. Although he's working today, I am grateful that we got to spend the day together. There are families that have Daddies in the middle East and far reaches in harms way. I am thankful for those that are called to serve and I will not dishonor their sacrifice by complaining about the lack of my own. If it weren't for them, I would not be free to be here today.

* Hardest for even myself to understand, I feel the need to be thankful today for the hard times. I need to bow my head and say thank you to my Lord for never coddling me. He hardens and hones me into a suitable sword by these momentary troubles he allows to touch my life. My God loves me enough to not leave me stagnant in my growth. He purifies and refines me in the fires of my life and it is those periods that remind me how much sweeter the good times are.

I hope that today found you in a thankful mood, counting your many blessings and sharing them with someone special. I love my life... I just need reminded every now and then exactly how good I have it.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Let it snow...

With the onset of cooler weather in our part of the country I have been reminded that nothing is as exciting to kids as a snow day from school. I remember begging God in the wee hours of the morning to please let there be enough snow on the ground for the Superintendent to call school. The disappointment was never so raw as when Mom would explain that the dude who made the decision was from Ohio and there would rarely ever be a day he deemed bad enough to call off school on account of snow.

There were, however, a few days I remember in my life where the snow did come and with a fervor not seen in many years since! How is it that when we recall our youth things always seem bigger and more dramatic? I distinctly remember so much snow! I remember stepping out the back door and being knee deep and sometimes hip deep in the white stuff. Never mind that I was distinctly shorter than most of my compatriots... Yeah, we will conveniently leave that part out. I just remember the days we got to spend alternating reading by the wood burning stove and donning our outdoor gear to trudge out into the white frigid day.

We built snow men, we had snowball fights, we dug into all that heavy wet stuff and made forts. It was so much fun to be a kid back in that day. We would come in when our clothes got so wet it became unbearable. We would undress in front of the wood burning stove and lay out our mittens, socks and coats to dry by the roar of the fire. Hours later, after cocoa and a snack and maybe some reading we would don our dry drier gear and head right back out to finish some project we had started earlier. It was pure heaven!

These days my kids long for snow days not so much for the outdoor activities and the playing in the white stuff. They yearn for a few more hours sleep and more time in front of the "boxes" - Computer, television, etc. I get it - Things have changed. But I still remember having such an incredible time out there in the back yard, or the front yard...Heck just being out in it!  There's still a part of me that laughs and dances an invisible jig when the snow starts to fly... "Snow Day!!!"

Saturday, November 12, 2011

The Great Outdoors...

As a kid in the '70s we did a lot of things for fun. I remember my first bike with the large green banana seat, I remember those incredibly dangerous and painful glass balls on a string that you knocked together until your mother begged you to stop or you smashed your finger between them, I remember Gun Smoke, Starsky and Hutch and Chips on the television, I remember the smell of a brand new box of Crayola Crayons and I always coveted the biggest box with the built in sharpener in the back, I remember roller skates on city sidewalks. As I said previously, I had a pretty cool childhood.

One of the most vivid and wryly wonderful memories I have would also be of the family camping trips we took as youngsters. Living in town all my life (until I married the Man, that is), I simply loved the trips in the car... Wait. I always got carsick... ahem. (And still do to this day, mind you.) Ok, so the getting there was riddled with strife, hoping desperately that the winding road and too many potato chips wouldn't revolt against my young stomach and re-present itself at the most inopportune of times. However, I do remember the wonderfully liberating feeling of climbing out of the cramped back seat and running around our campsite with my sister, exploring to the furthest allowable reaches until Mom called us in for peanut butter sandwiches, or better yet C-rations that were picked up at the Salvation Army Store. I loved the campfires and the roasted marshmallows in the fresh mountain air. I don't have a whit of recollection of how it felt to sleep on the ground, if I ever got cold or sore... It was just great to be a kid in the '70s when camping out was all the rage!

I was in awe of the Coleman stove and the funny smelling lantern that hissed and sputtered into life. There were sites with a creek in them, and while it was probably unnerving for my Mom, us kids always thought those sites were the best! Colorado creeks are never ever warm, so the water was not exactly inviting, but playing with little pieces of wood to float down the current kept us busy for hours. Until of course I had to go to the bathroom...

In that light I am suddenly reminded why it is I have never wanted to go camping in my adulthood. Yes, folks - I am an incompetent outdoors-woman who cannot manage to relieve herself outside without tinkling on her feet, shoes or no shoes. Sad but true. And to all of you helpful sort who think you can give me some advice, I remember as a child standing this way and that, uphill, downwind, etc., etc. Nothing ever seemed to stop the tragedy from happening. And from a gal who absolutely loves footwear, I cannot stand by and say I will ever camp again. My wonder filled childhood memories will have to do, as will camping at the Hyatt!

I think I need a shower now.... and a martini!

Thursday, November 10, 2011


I have started reading a book for research in my writing. It is called "A Secret Gift," and it is about the gift of one man to one hundred fifty inhabitants of Canton, Ohio during the Depression just days before Christmas in 1933. He gave them a mere $5, but in those times it was an amount that was the difference between eating for a week or nothing. As you can imagine, the content is incredible and moving and has invoked in me the memories of the sheltered bliss of my own childhood. I am definitely not intimating that my childhood was any where near as stress-filled or anguished as those who survived the greatest economic downfall of our time (so far). And for those who like to poke fun, no I am not that old either! It just has me thinking very fondly about the times I didn't have so much on my plate and things just seemed simpler. So I have decided to start a project.

Yes, you guessed it, I am about to inflict upon you a blog project in which I get all misty and gushy over things I remember in my youth - distant as it may be! I have quite a few it seems that flood into my memory just begging to be looked over again and relived, if only just a little.

I have spoken here many times of my Grandmother and her influence in my life. She was a survivor of that same Depression I am reading about. This book has brought many things to mind for me and much clarity about her that I had not had before. Most of which stems directly from the practice these folks all seem to have of not lamenting about their circumstances. It is incredible to me, in my observations of my generation and the Y-gen coming hot on my heels, that they so stoically weathered whatever fate seemed to fall flat in their laps. They didn't cry foul, they didn't slump in their boots, hand out in expectation, they didn't even ask much of the time for the basic necessities of life. They just accepted that times were tough, everyone was in the same boat and they got very resourceful about how to handle it.

Those that did survive the incredibly difficult life of the '30s and early '40s came out marred, but stronger for it. Not all of them found their way out of poverty, but those that did retained a vivid memory of what that time was like. They saved, they lived frugally within a set of means, and they rocked on! My grandmother was one of them. She never ever forgot what living through that was like. She remembered the hunger, the need and the humility and she lived with a healthy fear of returning to that state. She believed that bathing was more important than the latest fashion because it was the least you could do. I remember her saying, "There is no shame in being ragged, there is only shame in being dirty." She reveled in the luxuries of life like mayonnaise, white sugar and M&M candies. And she loved her house.

I spent many days with Gramma at her home. My mother was a single Mom in my early years and I was lucky enough to spend my days in the arms of my Grandmother while Mom supported two girls, working at the local grocery. I loved that house! It was cool in the summer, warm in the winter and some of my earliest memories are recalled sitting in her "front room," wrapped in my security blanket napping on the sofa with the plastic covered arms.

Grandma's house was the land of many treats. There were M&Ms in the ceramic "CREAM" jar, Oreo Cookies in the cookie jar, Oranges and Apples in the bottom drawer of the refrigerator and often homemade popsicles in the freezer. Gramma was not the best of cooks, leaning on the theory that if it's brown it's cookin', if it's black, it's done! But I loved her chocolate chip cookies with the crispy edges and always just a little too much butter. Grandma was a huge patron of store bought ice cream and once made my youngest Uncle trod to the grocery to get more of the treat because he ate the last of it and I didn't have any. (I was not very popular with my teenage Uncle that day!)

I loved playing endlessly in the front room, blocks stacked here and there, Lincoln logs strewn about and many a baby doll lounging half dressed in attendance. Gramma always let me keep the television on and I watched endless reruns of "The Little Rascals," "The Brady Bunch," along with Looney Toones cartoons. She was patient with me and my sibling sister. We were rarely disciplined, but when we were it was crushing. Not because Gramma was harsh, on the contrary - We simply knew we had truly unraveled her last nerve!

Grandma's was where I first used a typewriter, read my first book, learned to love having my feet tickled and made my first mud pies. I loved it there. I miss her still and occasionally find myself longing to pick up the phone and tell her of my day. She never would have believed I own buffalo!

I remember the smell of wood polish, the sounds of the floorboards creaking and the dark upper hallway where I would set up my "office" to play secretary. The shocking Fire-alarm-like sound of the wall telephone would jolt me in my little chair and I would squeak out a yelp every time... It was Awesome! To this day, I love houses with the smooth white plasterboard walls and dark stained trim. It just brings it all back to me.

I had a wonderful childhood, sheltered from the stress and strife I notice my kids are growing up in. I didn't worry about the rent, or how much thing cost. I was coddled that way. It was a good time to be a kid in the 70's and I am very grateful for the time I spent with my Grandparents. Where my mother taught me how to be strong and resilient, my Grandparents taught me about frugal living and gentle spirits. I treasure both lessons deep in my soul.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Studio Update

Yes, folks. I have given up on my other blog editor and finally just paid for an app that might at least allow me to complete some posts I have had floating about in my head... Frustrating that I have had to wait this long!

I have been dying to get my studio up and running, but in the land of do-it-your-selfers there is just nothing to be done abut it. I am at the mercy of the schedules of others and it makes me a little nutty! Especially since I am so very close.... Have a look:

I have a door now. It opens and shuts and even locks! Pretty cool...

Studs... Hat channel and wooden

I have studs! Ones that hold up paneling and insulation eventually...

I refinished this fixture. It was one of those older brass fixtures generously donated by a friend of my project. Some Rustoleum spray paint and an afternoon commitment and I have a much mo modern fixture just waiting to be hung...

These are my red-neck window screens. Soo easy, once I finally figured it that silly staple gun thingy! Now I can open the windows without being dive bombed by the mud daubers...

And last but definitely to least, I have been "stubbed in." Sounds ominous, I know, but it just means that the studio itself is wired and ready to have power tied into it. This is the hardest thing to take above all... I have my little infrared heater bought and I have my coffee maker ready as well.... I just need some men folk with time to finish this bad boy!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

When I'm 64...

Ok... Last one, I promise! This will be the last birthday month post for a year or so. (And this one is two days delayed because of stupid app crashes!)

I think when you turn 40 there is a general tendency to take inventory. You begin to look at your life differently and with more clarity. The years of hormonally driven youth melt away and you are left to boil down what's left to the things that really matter. I have been caught doing that more and more. Hopefully, I am less driven by my emotions and more likely to quietly contemplate my response BEFORE I blurt it out.

The Beatles did a song, many moons ago, entitled, "When I'm 64..." It is more of a love song about will you still love me when I am old, wrinkly and need more care than is comfortable? While that is a valid question, I wanted to do a post on what I want at age 64... Because we all know, it is all about me!

* I want to dance! (Still...) I don't want to be a sedentary mass in a rocking chair somewhere, unless that chair is a rockin"! I want to be tapping my toes, spinning about wildly and generally making my kids cringe with fear that Mom's about to break a hip! I want to feel the enjoyment I get out of the sounds of life and youth, long after that youth has eluded me. I doubt I will feel any less youthful at 64 than I do today, but I do want to have my grandkids look at me and ask this old lady to dance!

* I'd like peeps not to know I am 64, truth be told. I want to be one of those ladies that you know HAS to be of a certain age, but you just can't seem to pin her down. I vowed once I turned 40 to quit aging. I am eternally celebrating my 40th... Hopefully, those who do know me well enough will keep my secrets. Medical miracles, tiny little injections and hair color are amazing tools I plan to use to the fullest!

* I want to keep up with the techies... I know this as part of my personality very well and I doubt it will be hard to do. There are just things that make me grin from ear to ear and technology is one of them. I simply hope that in my busy life I don't fall out of sync with the newest little gadget that keeps me young at mind!

* I want to savor my life. Right now, things seem to go by at breakneck speed and I am often caught just going through the motions. Obviously I want to get this started sooner than 64, but I do want to develop a habit of savoring my moments, no matter what they are. To some this may sound like "smell the roses," but I would beg to differ. I also want to savor (in a way) those things that are not always thought about as pleasant. Without the difficulties, the trials and yes, the pain, life gets very bland. If I didn't have hard times in my life, I would not be able to truly revel in the easy times. It takes having both to truly appreciate the other. I am not trying to be morose here, quite the opposite. I want to start looking at my life's challenges through a different set of lenses. I want to savor every day, because it is God given and I have a choice. I can be unhappy and unpleasant to be around, or I can choose to savor the moment for the growth it will create and move through it looking for the good that will come out of it.

* Along those same lines, I want to cherish those around me. So often I am guilty of taking my family, friends and co-workers for granted. I need to stop that! I want to truly convey the love and the enjoyment I get from each individual that graces my life with their presences. I want to go to my Lord knowing I left no "I love you" unsaid, no hug unbestowed, no hand left unheld. I want the people in my life to know that though we may not have always agreed, I loved them for who they were and appreciated their choice of me as an accompaniment. Fact is, peeps don't have to choose me, and when they do, I should cherish their friendship, love ... whatever they happen to give. It is the people in my life that make it worth living.

Thanks for putting up with my birthday month... I have always been a celebrator! I promise not to mention it for another 11 months... maybe.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Dear 25 Year Old Me...

Dear 25 Year Old Me...

In keeping with my birthday month, I have another letter. This one is to myself on the verge of so many huge life altering choices. But then, isn't that what your twenties is all about? Finally figuring out that you don't know it all, discerning who you actually want to be and determining a path to get there.

Dear 25 Year Old Me,

It has been a bit since my last letter to you. I hope that this one finds you more willing to take a look inside and maybe save yourself some heartache in the end. It is unlikely, but a gal can hope! Just like your parents are suddenly seeming to make more sense these days, maybe you can read this letter from yourself and take in more than you did last time, oh "Impetuous One!"

That desperate feeling you have most days is completely normal. It is called a biological clock and yours is set on high. I would love to tell you to take a minute, slow down, smell the roses - but I know that you won't. You are on a mission to complete some warped check list of life goals. That's ok. It will hit you one day rather soon, that your list is missing some pretty important factors. I'll let you figure that out all by yourself. Just rest a little and know that things are about to change in a big way.

For instance, you are just a few short months away from meeting your soon to be husband. He will not be the guy you thought you were looking for, he will be so much more. There will be obstacles to overcome, heart break to work through, but in the end you will marry and find a partner you can't imagine being without. He will be your perfect counterpart, calm to your storm and so very much in love with you. You will often wonder how it was that God gave you such a partner - don't question it, just be very thankful! Remember that marriage is what happens after the wedding and it is ALOT of hard work. It is also rewarding work, if you stick with it.

There is another person waiting in the wings for you to be won over. He is also your perfect partner in some ways. Most of all, He is the perfect Lord. Yes, I know... You have steered clear of all that religious fanaticism for a very long time now and you can't imagine that you will ever go back. Your future husband will explain, however, that if you want him, you have to also want HIM. You will get it figured out and it too will become much more than you ever thought it could be. A relationship with Christ is so much more than church on Sundays and family dinners after, but then you will have to experience it for yourself. Just trust it, fighting it is really a no win situation for reasons that you will learn later.

That lovely little silver-haired lady you think of so sweetly will not be around much longer. Cherish your grandmother! Spend as much time as you can with her because all too soon she will not be there when you turn to call or drop by to visit. She is the inspiration for so much of what you will do later in your life, keep your love for her fresh and living while she is still around. She will go peacefully and quietly one morning and you will regret not spending more time with her when you could. Know that feeling is common and there is never enough time when "no more" comes calling. Make the best of it now.

Your life is about to change in a drastic and wonderful way! There are things that will become a part of your normal everyday life that are only dreams to you now - Dreams you never thought to dream, come to think of it! Trying to explain it would only cause you to roll those brown eyes of yours and snort derisively. The work-a-day world lived in the city will some day be a distant memory, and the love you will have for the life you live will be overwhelming at times. Just remember to thank God for all you are given and in someway, figure out how to give a little back. None of it will ever seem to be enough to say what you feel in your heart, but trying anyway is what makes you me.

I hope that you will look back on your days at 25 and realize that all of those crazy lists you are making are nothing more than kindling for the real fire of your life. I realize those lists are really important now... I pray that you will look back on them and love how much they freed you in ways you never saw coming!


Your Much Older Self

Friday, October 14, 2011

Dear 16 year old me...

It was my birthday earlier this week. I'm much older than 16, but then my husband might argue that point given my penchant for Top 40s music, ridiculously high platform heels and skinny jeans. Despite that fact, I thought it might be fun to reminisce about when I actually was 16 years old and what I might tell myself if I could send myself a letter... Not that I would listen to any of it. I was an exceedingly hard headed teen and not all that fun to be around. In fact, I might not even like me if I met me at this age... whoa. I think a little smoke came outta my ears...

Dear 16 year old me,

There are a few things your older self would like to let you know as you embark on this year, growing ever more adult. I realize that you will not actually listen to any of this, but it may give you pause for just a split second and that might indeed save your life!

First, let's talk about your car. I realize that you think the VW bug is the be-all and the end-all right now. Cherish it. It is the most quirky and fun memory you will have about driving unfettered from here on out. You will look back on your life in that car with fond memories for many years to come. The heater that fries your feet and yet won't defrost the windshield will become a source of joyous laughter later on. The fact that your Dad tries to teach you time and again how to maintain it will give you a sense of thankfulness when you have a man who will do those things for you. It will also give you a confidence in life that you would never guess... The fact that your purchased the entire car for $250 will be a source of fondness as well. Trust me, you will never have another running vehicle at that price again!

Your Mom is about to have a baby boy. He will be a great source of joy later in life, but right now, you will be far too self involved to make time for him. Understand that that choice will have consequences, but hopefully he will forgive you. That baby will grow into an incredibly intelligent, witty, caring man that will awe and entertain you. Take just a moment to look at him and appreciate that. Even though your first date will assume he is your baby, you can love him all the more.

There is a guy on the horizon that will not be as much fun. He will seem like a good time, but give him a couple of years and you will find that he is the snake everyone will try to warn you about. Rest assured you will grow immensely through this pain. You will come to appreciate your family in surprising ways when he breaks your heart and you will also be able to recognize his type later on. This is one of those things you have to weather, 16 year old me, but it is also one of the things that will make you a very strong individual who knows what she wants in a man. Um, trust me when I say, he is not it!

You will have a job soon. It will be a job, not a career. Enjoy it while it lasts and soak in all you can. You will look back on the environment with happiness and chalk up the experience as a decent one. It will be the source of great joy as it will introduce you to the land of high heeled shoes. There is no turning back from that love! You should try to remember, however, that you don't like the restaurant business and never ever attempt to wait tables for a living... You are really bad at it! Oh, wait... You will wait tables. And you will be very bad at it!

Take a good look around that school you attend. Yes, I know, "High school is so lame!" But really, it is the last chance you get before reality will set in for you and you will spend the rest of your days earning money. It has its pitfalls, to be sure, but it is truly the best time of your life. You have youth, energy, intelligence and very little responsibility. Do all you can, go to every dance, date, join clubs, try out for drama... The sun will set on these opportunities all too soon and you will look wistfully back and wish you hadn't been so intent on growing up so soon.

Your parents really do love you, although you are pretty sure they are about the most clueless set of humans on earth. In a few short years you will realize just how much they put up with to love you and how much you made them worry. Don't fret about it. Just say you're sorry and hug them. They will prove time and again that family will be there when everyone else turns away.

Most of all, 16 year old me, you should know you will be ok. You will turn out alright, you will resurrect certain dreams later on in life and you will find love. You will have children who love you and a husband that cherishes you. You would never believe me if I told you the amazing things you will do, so I will leave that for you to experience yourself. Just know that I look back on you with a wry smile and know that without you and your impetuousness, I wouldn't be the woman I am today!


A Much Older Me

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Southern Living...

I have a fixation with the Southern United States. I cannot explain it, it just is. I have always admired the sub-tropical area of my country from the time I could read about lands farther away than my back door.

There is just something to be said about the warmth, comfort and hospitality that seems to reside down there, amidst the magnolia, the azalea and the calendula...It is other-wordily, and yet it feels like home every time I am there.

My sister lives in the South... I am envious. But it does give me good cause to visit from time to time and breathe in the wonderfulness that resides there. Everything slows down, life seems to take on more meaning and the little things become so apparent I wonder why I didn't think of it sooner...

Because it is warm in the southern United States, there is more detail spent on the yards, the outdoor seating areas, the magnificent sub-tropical flora is planted and meant to be ejoyed. You spend more time out there, I love that! (I planted a hydrangea or two in hopes that I can relive a bit of that blooming splendor. We shall see how it weathers a Colorado high country winter...) The yards are meticulously kept and details like a decorated mail box aren't overlooked. So incredibly perfect!

(I want to live in this mailbox!)

There is something else about Southern Living that just keeps me wanting more... The People! Seriously, you just don't know hospitality until you have been down there and shared in a bar-b-que or a family gathering! It sure seems that Southerners have figured out that the finer things in life sum up in "folks". Your folks, my folks, the folks up the road... They take time to stop by, wave as you ride your bike down to the local farmer's market, say hello and complement your shoes. I know that most places have these practices, but in the warm sunshine and skin plumping humidity the Southern states just seem to have it perfected.

I must confess something - I love the food! Even being as food challenged as I am, I love southern cooking! I do have to be careful about the amount of fried and breaded things that are a Southern staple, but the time that is poured into each dish brought to a gathering leaves me sighing with sated glory! Baked macaroni and cheese was a foreign item to one grown up on boxed Mac'n'cheese. Not that I don't treasure my Grandmother teaching me how to make my own of an afternoon... But the crispy outer layer of real cheese and the gooey center of buttery yumminess - AAAAAHHHH! I can't hardly stand it! Even made with Gluten free Macaroni, it is to die for! It takes longer, but then that is another thing I love about the South.

Time not only slows down, there are moments it actually seems to stop... Bliss! To sit and watch ones kids enjoy their play in the pool, to share a drink and a snack with family and friends, these things you don't get to relive. These things you savor. Dinner out is meant to be enjoyed and experienced, not rushed through. Don't expect much of anything to be speedy in the lower 48... it just ain't gonna happen.

I am planning a trip to the Plantation Trace in Georgia and I cannot wait to see it through. I am not worried about being lost, someone will help me along. I am not worried about being hungry, there will be plenty of great things to eat. I am only concerned that the economy may slow my ability to get there before the beauty of fall passes.

The last thing to note about the south is something that is antithetical to most of us living in the upper 48... You don't leave without giving hugs! You may actually spend more time saying goodbye than you did at the gathering itself, but parting is a ritual that begs to be done with great contact and verve! So as I leave you with this post today, I give you a virtual hug....hhmmmmffff! and I bid you, "Y'all come back soon!"

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

If I hang it, they will come!

Yes, this is the long awaited aggravating post that I was talking about earlier this week... they're here! The humming birds have arrived (albeit a little later than I had thought they would) and they are quite the rowdy little bunch!

I was standing at the railing of my front porch, sipping my gin and ginger ale and contemplating the plan of attack on the growing weeds in my flower garden. I heard him before I saw him... That trilling, vibrating, thrilling hum of his wings as he approached and checked out the newly filled humming bird feeder I randomly hang after it gets knocked down during windy spells.

First, I must say, he checked ME out! Kinda worried me... If you have ever been checked out by a hummer, you have experienced a wonderful and harrowing experience. Those beaks look very pointy and needle-like! He hovered right in front of me, no more than 10 inches away and then he sped sideways to the feeder.

I had nothing to take pictures with... except the phone... So these are all courtesy of the Droid X, which still hasn't made its way completely back into the good graces of moi, but it came a long way with these pictures!

This may have actually been the female that followed the little male that first checked me out... I admit, I am not completely familiar with hummers and their particular foliage, as it were.

Plucky! And yes, they are very brave! I didn't have time to silence the shutter sound my phone makes taking pics, but it didn't seem to deter the gulping of nectar at all.

Ali, I know you have wanted to capture a great pic of a hummer and while these are crap pics with a lowly phone camera, I hope they will one day be enough to entice you to Colorado... It's not as hot here, and there's hardly any humidity, if that helps spur you on!

I love his little "bed head!"

Now each morning I hear the raucous calls of the little devils as it appears word has spread through the humming bird neighborhood that I have the "stuff!" They swirl and squawk, dive and feed, filling the kitchen with their trills and tweets and making me smile. Maybe one of these days I will get out there in time with a real camera...

Have a great day y'all!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Macro Monday.. My first!

Ok.. So those that know me know I don't claim to be a photog. Now I'm about to get all annoying and aggravating to those of you who are... Please forgive me.

I snapped this with what I had handy... The phone. Cute little dude, right? I have so much more... But I will just have to save it for tomorrow. Besides, my closest blog friends are going to be a little miffed at my next snaps.

They were rare deals... And all I had was the darned phone camera! Promise to still be my friend Ali?


Some days are easier than others... That much is certain. I have been inundated as of late with things that have me stretching... Stretching my time, stretching my resources, stretching my patience. And so I have just decided to settle in and get limber!

I have decided to become... It isn't a new concept. It just peeks it's head up every now and then in my life and I realize it is time once more to become something other than what I have been focused on up to now.

:+: I have decided to become flexible. I laugh at this. God isn't really giving me a choice right now. I better get flexible fast, or I just might break!

:+: I will become relaxed... if it kills me! My neck is doing this twisty-turny thing that is a fright first thing in the morning. It is painful and makes me want badly to be cranky. I know it is the manifestation of my stress levels getting way out of control. So I guess it is out the door with control... (eek)

:+: I will become a more consistent writer. This is something I think I can actually do! I have all the tools at my disposal, even if the studio is no where near finished... Still a lovely space until it becomes colder and so very inspiring when I sit there at the open window.

:+: I will become the mother and wife I have always wanted to be. That looks different from day to day, but I am willing to learn how to flex into that, to become a more malleable and lovable woman of great use!

:+: I will become more present. This is a tough one! I love my life, but often I am thinking way to far into the future to be effective today. So, I will pray through the anxiety, seek God when I have my "moments", and I will strive to become more mired in the here and now, instead of the "What ifs".

:+: I will become less informed. I have already started down this path. Sounds goofy, right? I mean, who wants to be less educated? Right now, I do. I have turned off the television in the morning, refuse to watch anything but local news stories and believe it or not, I am much happier for it. I realize this will be counter-intuitive to some of you... For my sanity's sake, it is a deal breaker. Cannot stand one more talking head gleefully reporting another market crash and another step toward the greatest depression of our life-time. Sorry, no can do!

These are my becomings... What are yours?

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Rogue Buffalo: Another Ranch Land Adventure

I was getting ready for a trip to town. Groceries needed purchased, or I was pretty sure that the kids would lock me out on the front porch and not let me in until I produced a sufficient amount of food to nosh. My phone rang... It was The Man.

"Hi... Whadda ya up to?" (Standard question always asked by the Man when there is trouble afoot.)
"Getting ready for town... Why?" (Standard question asked by me when I know that I am about to be embroiled in such trouble.)
"Buffalo are out. Don't know where they are, but I have an idea. Keep your phone close. I will need you to come open a gate with Rafael when we find them."

So much for leaving "first thing," but I wasn't discouraged... This should only take an hour - TOPS! (ahem...)

Yes, that's them... The "girls" decided they would take full advantage of the heavy rain storm that left the main gate to the buffalo arena wide open. They worked tirelessly all night on the knot in the rope that kept their pen closed and once they had that undone, it was off to the races!

After the initial blunder of opening one gate, only to miss an open gate directly across the road, I knew that groceries in the morning hours would have to be a distant memory. These gals were on a high lope across a pasture that was largely wide open. The chase was on...

Two and a half hours of pursuit later, these silly geese had us fully aware of how many farmers vs ranchers we have in the neighborhood. The "Angels" sniffed out every open gate, run down fence line and wide open oat field to explore, all with the accompaniment of The Man and his Trusty Assistant on horse back hot on their swishy little tails. I am convinced they thought it great fun!

We (meaning the Man and Trusty Assistant), finally got the rogues headed back toward home. They made it a full two and a half to three miles away from our property and their waiting water tanks. By the time they complied with the homeward effort, they were parched and done with the fun of it all.

On the way back to the ranch, I had the hired man in the car and it was our job to drive the route home and shut each open gate along the way, preventing further adventures of the Buffalo Gals. Let it be said, we only missed one... Apologies to the farmers and their oat fields.

They look all too happy with themselves, don't they?

Groceries would have to wait another day, I am afraid. I did however stumble upon a very nicely faked recipe for smothered pork chops that the whole family thought yummy. I was allowed to live another day... As long as I produced groceries within twelve hours!

How did your week go?

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Blissfully yours...

I am grinning at myself.... Rather smugly, I might add. It is a silly thing, really. I am typing this from the rather bare surroundings of my studio. The walls are not finished, there isn't any electric and the only furniture is a wobbly card table and one lone chair. There really isn't much progress (else you would be seeing pictures, for sure) but I decided that I would not waste such a glorious space by writing my next blog post in it!

As I sit here, the breeze from the open windows confirms what I knew would be a comfortable seating. I am neither too hot, nor too cold. The flies that are buzzing through my unscreened windows aren't even bothering me terribly. The smell of cut lumber piled diligently behind me is soothing and puts a smile on my face as I stare out into the open meadow. From this vantage I cannot see another house or car. There is peace here in the quiet of my studio. The feel of it is exactly as I had hoped it would be.

Rarely these days do things turn out to be exactly as hoped. I feel very blessed and yes, a little spoiled. My husband grinned at me as I lugged the card table and chair out to my happy den. He gets me, he really does. He didn't ask what I was doing, he knew. I have gone to my happy place and all is well with my soul.

As much as I am reveling in the blissfulness of the studio, I am also wondering how some of my friends abroad are doing. They are, themselves, not in the fray but they may have loved ones and friends who are. My heart goes out to them. The feelings of helplessness and anger cannot be easy weights to bear when they are so far away. My prayers go out to them.

My to-do list ticks off in my head: A clinic to get organized, phone calls to make, the last of school supplies to buy... And I am once again back in the land of the living. Last week, I could barely get myself out of bed, the depression was so stark and unrelenting. Today it is as if the cool crisp morning air has jumpstarted my drive once more. Husband is so right when he literally shoves me up out of bed and tells me to get off my duff and DO something. As callus as that sounds, it is exactly what I have to hear if I am to keep going. The hardest thing about my depression is how stagnancy builds on me, miring me deeper and deeper, until I cannot move for the weight of it. It makes it incredibly hard to break free and just DO something.

My new phone is sitting in its FedEx box, staring at me defiantly. I have to set it up, AGAIN... If I let myself get angry about that I might actually ruin my awesome mood. Not yet. At least I have the darned thing before there is a cost to me... Still under warranty. Let's hope this one works more than two months before crapping out.

Pogo is panting at my feet, also enjoying the confines of the studio with what looks suspiciously like a grin on his face. When the Mommy's happy, Pogo's happy! Note to self: Will need a dog bed in studio for His Highness.

I am content... I hope you have a marvelous rest of your week!

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Here comes the rain...

From The Brown's Zoo Tales

It's raining... Thank you, Lord! It is raining HARD and I am rejoicing in the very depths of my heart over it. All too soon it will pass and the humidity will climb and I will again long for the sound of the drops pinging off the roof of my studio, clambering down the gutters of the house and coursing throughout the bar ditches.

The seat of my bicycle will be soaked, but I don't care. Thunder rolls in the distance and gets closer with the torrential falling of drops. My dog claws at my legs, panicked at the sound of the booming, while I type and smile. The sounds must be so much more vibrant and scary to them with the four legs, he is shaking so.

When I was small, I used to be terribly afraid of thunderstorms. I distinctly remember a late night storm that coursed through our city, blowing up the large trees in the nearby park with lighting strikes. It was terrible to behold and I recall crying long into the night, fearful that the lightning would find me and turn our home to ash. I would count at the flash of lightning, "One Mississippi, Two Mississippi, Three...." as the storm came closer, listening for the boom of thunder not far behind. Someone had told me that was how many miles away the apex of the storm was and I clung to that, desperate for solace in the dark. It was terrifying when I couldn't even get out one 'Mississippi' before the crash of thunder bellowed angrily around me, and then none too soon it all began to move off.

The things that are so terribly scary and loom large over our psyches as a child, can turn to such welcome afternoons spent as an adult admiring the perfection of God. I welcome the rain as our gift for the fields, a day I don't have to water the flowers, a cooling off of my overheated heart. Everything seems renewed after a good scrubbing of raindrops. Life smells better, feels more doable after the rain.

Even now the storm is moving on, the rain coming in fits and spurts. The thunder is rolling away and the dog is panting below my chair, semi-content that I am not worried over the loudness while he still shakes uncontrollably. I love afternoons like this one... Looking forward to the washed, new world.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

What I've been up to...

Yup... It's here! And I'm so freaking excited!!! Ahem... There is a huge amount of work to be done before my studio is a living, breathing, usable space. If I am absent from my blogs you have confidence of where I'm located... I'm on a ladder or on my hands and knees making this little space inhabitable.

Check it out...

The day it arrived... Still on the trailer.

Pulling it almost to its final resting spot.

Holding my breath while they off-load

Back wall where the card room will go

Seating area where futon will rest...

My writing desk will go here...

Front door and side lights... It is actually very light and airy. Not dungeon like at all!

I hope to keep the updates coming as I get closer to completion and move-in! Yay!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Far, Far Away

When I was a kid, every afternoon on the public broadcast station there was a show geared to school-aged children called Zoom. It was an innovative program that showcased all the cast as kids my age doing experiments, reading stories, generally learning about all manner of things. At the very end of each episode there was always a call for the pen-pal program that Zoom sponsored. I watched and fretted and wondered what I would say and eventually, I sent in my name and address to be paired up with someone. I must admit, at the ripe age of nine, I was a bit cynical that I would end up with a pen-pal from Kansas, instead of some far off land as I had hoped.

I waited for what seemed like ages and I finally received my packet of information for a little girl in... (Insert drum roll here) Surrey, England! Her name was Mica and she was actually of East Indian decent. We exchanged letters and little gifts and we kept this up right until she headed out to "university". She was going to study medicine and informed me that our letters would probably stop there as she was anticipating crushing hours of study. I was sad, but I got it. Med school was way over my academic head and I could only imagine the hours she would be chained to her desk.

I still remember the incredible surge of excitement I would get when a letter would come in the mail with all those funny postmarks and interesting stamps of Queen 'Liz... I saved them well into my twenties. Come to think of it, they may be in a box underneath the house somewhere.

Blogging has brought back a lot of those wonderful memories for me. I can connect with people from all over the globe and I can learn about all manner of interesting cultures and traditions. It speaks to the excited kid in me. And just yesterday, I have to tell you, I did a very juvenile little "happy-dance" in my dining room as I brought in the box that was waiting so patiently in my oversized mail box from Saturday. (Yes, I actually left the box all alone in my mail box for TWO days before I retrieved it...Urg!) I have a blog-friend, not to be confused with boy-friend, who lives in Garrods Hill, England (I think that is how I am supposed to read the return post), and she sent me the winnings from her blogiversary contest she held earlier this month! It was the same excitement I felt as a little girl getting to open a package from so far away...

Ok, yes, I am a complete dork! The package contained the following:
Lovely little babushka-doll-paper wrapped around each gift and a willowy whisp of a girl card with a hand-written sentiment from my friend...

And inside the packages, viola!

As I sit here this morning, enjoying my coffee in my new mug, lovely union jack pennants draped invitingly around its perimeter, I wonder where Mica is. I wonder how she fared in the grueling throngs of med-school students and if she ever recalls the awkward over-enthusiastic pen-pal from Colorado that used to ask her all manner of inane questions.

I am so very thankful and awed by the people that I have met here in the blogiverse. You have made me feel welcome, unique, distinctly inept at times with your amazing photog skills and yet, always inspired to be more. It is with this swelling feeling of more that I leave you today. What might you do to make someone's day a little more?

Saturday, June 25, 2011

I was wondering...

From The Brown's Zoo Tales

... why do things break or mis-function when Man leaves town? aka - I hate my dishwasher.
... what possible function do allergies serve? Seriously? I have heard of a little plumping up of your lips to beautify yourself, but I doubt seriously if swollen red eyes and raw red nose are attractive!
... do hydrangeas only bloom once? Mine have had blooms on one plant for a long time, the other is flat lazy I think! Hasn't bothered to do anything, like it is waiting on the other to finish to say, "Eh, I could've done better."
...when one yanks off the drawer front to ones kitchen drawer in a fit of rage at ones dishwasher, shouldn't one first find out where the nail gun is to repair it?
... why do I always see hummingbirds when the feeder has blown off the window and I have been too preoccupied to set it back up?
...what God was planning when he made babies so doggoned adorable? I simply love the littlest of them. I'm not a toddler-phile, not a child adore-er, I love babies, the ones that simply sit in your arms, unable to bite, claw at you, beg for things, or tell you how much you suck. Hmmm... my motives are showing.
...when will my lovely package from afar arrive? Probably when I need it most to cheer me up. Most likely when I am not home next week to receive it! Harumph... (Insert self pity party here)
...does anyone else love the feeling of anticipation like I do? I am anticipating the aforementioned package, a wonderful trip with girlies to LV, the completion of one writing/crafting studio and a trip alone with husband to Oklahoma... ok, well maybe I'm not anticipating the trip as much as the alone. (Insert industrial grade deodorant here along with enough water and Gatorade to drown a cow.) there a great, not just marginal but great, website out there that identifies bird that come to my feeder? I have some very interesting fellers that frequent just outside my kitchen window, but no knack for identifying them with any success.
...are hobbies classified as illness when one has so many of them? And when one wants to add more?
... does grass ever miraculously mow itself? Mine has decided to mimic the jungles of Borneo...
...does anyone else fear asking children to weed to find their garden picked clean in a fit of spite?
...why does Google change my pictures into blurry fuzzy crap until I repost them direct from Picasa? very aggravating and foolish. Makes me want to use another service... Hint, hint, Google Gods.

From The Brown's Zoo Tales

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Who is she?

From The Brown's Zoo Tales

I am high heels and cowboy boots. I am reality television and English historical novels. I am eyeliner and mascara with very little makeup. I am raucous laughter and solemn stares. I am fierce loyalty and new friendships. I am a Christian, a mother, a friend and a wife. I am red wine with soft cheese. I am an idealist and an analyst. I am rock and roll, country and hip-hop. I am a daughter and a sister. I am unswerving eye contact and long talks. I am a writer, an artist and a crafter. I am surf and turf and peanut butter and banana sandwiches. I am romantic comedies and intellectual thrillers. I am a reader and a romantic. I am a lover of sunshine and a snowman maker. I am Maroon Five, Jason Aldean and The Black Eyed Peas. I am a red head and all that entails. I am impromptu gatherings and intimate dinners. I am spice and sweetness together. I am Chinese food with my kids and sushi with my husband. I am tender and vulnerable. I am spring steel wrapped in softest cotton. I am a survivor. I am strongest when I am broken. I am a team player and a leader. I am hand made and brand name. I am my Mothers child and my Grandmothers "Sugar." I am gardening and computer games. I am cookouts and fine dining. I am polite, but not always kind. I am approachable and I am intimidating. Most of all, I am real, with real feelings, hurts, joys, expectations and desires. I am that woman.

(first experienced at Moments of Perfect Clarity)

Monday, June 20, 2011

Hanging it out there ....

Remember back in the day? Back when we played outside all day until the street lights came on, when video games lived in the confines of an arcade we only got to frequent once in a blue moon, back when being a kid was safe and fun and carefree... Those days when our parents really did "close the door" when they were arguing about something? We were sheltered from adult interractions and we rarely got a glimpse into the big bad world because we simply weren't ready to handle it. There are so many things about my childhood I wish I could reinstate for my kids. But then I look around me and I realize the world has changed.... and I'm not sure it's for the better.

My kids are growing up in a world that has it's life all strung out and blowing in the wind for all to see. There's not a whole lot of restraint out there. Kids get into fights and post it on YouTube, MySpace is full of scantily clad folks making eyes at the camera, Facebook is a venue where arguments are had in a public forum, regardless of the nature of the dispute or the age of the participants. It's all out there with little discretion as if it is somehow a right to be an ass.

When did we suddenly decide that any of that was appropriate? When did we throw decorum and consideration to the four winds and tell ourselves the world needs to know every nasty, gorey little detail about who we are? Where did the poise and gentleness of spirit go when we were children?  Our grandmothers would be appalled.... I am appalled.

Make no mistake, I've done some truly boneheaded ignorant things and I've overshared online. It's just that recently I have taken a look around and decided I want certain things in my life. I want to read things that uplift and inspire me. I want to laugh and smile, marvel at  amazing photos and even cry with my blog-friends. I don't want to listen to nastiness about others, be it political or just juvenile. I get to choose what I put in and I choose not to put in anger. Call me "fake", call me "sappy".... I don't care. I don't want to get angry in my free time, I want to enjoy it. I dont want to squirm in my chair when I take a moment to check in with my friends. I understand and even giggle at the occasional rant, but an entire blog built on biting criticism and pathetic comparisons? No thank you....

Ever been somewhere and the folks you're with start to argue? That uncomfortable squirmy feeling is one I think most of us avoid like the plague. Most of us dont want to watch an argument play out in public or have the ugliness forced upon us in our free time. We don't want to know that much about people and frankly people don't want to know that much about me. I'm choosing to keep my irritation and my grumpiness under wraps, at least here on my blog. Oh, I will rant but I hope I can also rave because most of us are looking for soft place to land when we feel grumpy, irritated and uninspired.

My pictures will never be the beautiful works you find on other blogs, and yes they are out of focus alot of the time. I'm not a photographer... Never pretended to be and I'm not starting now. If that irritates you, my apologies. I don't  think anyone on my teensy reader list came here because of my pics.

My goal is to share my life and its often interesting quirks. I have an unusual existence out here in the boonies... I'm not here to throw anyone under the bus, to laud my over-educated self or to put any one else down for their opinions. Blogging can be an amazing, fun and inspiring experience and it takes a certain amount of bravery to enter this community.  Most of the peeps I've encountered are friendly, open and amazing and it's those that keep me going.

In the days to come I hope to keep my fanny under wraps and not overshare.... so if you don't hear from me, you know what happened! And when u get a chance stop in at these blogs: Inner Rambling of a Mi-life Mama, Chez Spud, Soul Aperture . They are amazing, inspiring, quirky and fun.... and MUCH better photogs than I will ever be!


Friday, June 17, 2011

Happy Father's Day!

My Dad was not always my dad. He is my Dad because he chose me, not because he helped create me and for that I look back and am eternally grateful. I can distinguish between the words "father" and "dad" for that very reason. Almost anyone can be a father and create life, but it takes time, patience, pain and love to be a dad.

Dads take you camping, whether you think it is cool or not. Dads hold onto the back of your bicycle until they know you have it and then dads trust enough to let it go. Dads hold you when your world is crashing down around you as you move out of your first love's apartment. Dads fix you a drink when they can see that life has taken you by the scruff and shook you until you can hardly stand anymore. Dads give you the best of themselves and inspire you to give the best of yourself back.

My Dad is like that. He joined our family when I was nine and has stuck with me through some harrowing times of willful, nasty, hasty youth. He never walked away, he didn't stop taking my calls, my Dad loved me no matter how unlovable I was. I was not an easy child and he was either fully aware of how to deal with me or he was blissfully ignorant of what he was getting into. It really doesn't matter which, I came to respect him for the quiet way he dealt with my shenanigans.

Dad is where I learned to be handy and "crafty". Dad reinforced all the frugal beginnings of my grandmother's teachings and taught me how to make what I had on hand into what I wanted. I never had to go far for an example of how to create from what we had lying around. I remember entire dining room tables (large ones) made out of strips of 1 x 1 oak scrap that dad glued together to make boards large enough to form the table tops and the same scraps glued together into posts to turn on a lathe for the legs. I got a bed out of that stuff too and it was beautiful! It was a turned four poster bed that you could see through the turnings... I wish I still had it, but I was incredibly hard on those delicate posts and the bed was scrapped when I left home.

Dad has made all sorts of other things as well. He has laid miles of hard wood floors, but never the plain old one color type - No! He plans intricate designs and inlays that simply take my breath away. He has fashioned wind sculptures and hand carved claw foot furniture. He is an avid gardener and a constant tinkerer. He is an electrical engineer (at least I think he is) and he can mechanic if he has to.

At Christmas time Dad is known as Sparky, after the Chevy Chase character in National Lampoons' Christmas Vacation. He decorates the parental home in millions of tiny white twinkle lights and hooks up his computer to generate professional style shows to Christmas carols. I let my friends and family know every year he gets the show set up and they drive by to listen to his creative works. He starts setting up the lights and replacing strands around Halloween and usually has the show ready to debut about the second week in December. I love that about him.

Dad is also a musician. He plays professionally a few times a month and I have always known him with a guitar in his hands. I tried once to learn, but the tenderness of my soft fingers and the fact that I had to keep my nails trimmed squashed that desire rather quickly. Dad wasn't disappointed and he didn't try to keep me going in it, he simply laughed. It didn't matter to him where I found my passion, just as long as I was happy.

On a day like today, I want my Dad to know that he matters. In all things, I am a part of a man that chose to love me for me, despite my bad attitude and my poor choices. I love my Dad in a way that is filled with respect, admiration, loyalty and quiet confidence.

Dad, you taught me to love when it wasn't easy, to laugh at my own silliness, to cry with others without offering up unsolicited advice and to accept life's trials as a challenge to succeed no matter the odds. I hope that you enjoy this day basking in the knowledge that you are cherished and loved as only a Dad can be. Thank you for always loving me back.

Monday, June 13, 2011

My Passion

Like Spud, of Chez Spud fame, I too have many things I love to do... I think about the things I have taken on in the past 16 years of marriage and I am astounded at the many skills I have started, if not perfected.

I know a little about horses and livestock in general, thanks to marrying a horse trainer. I live on a ranch and that comes with lots of little knowledge tid bits, like how to stop an automatic waterer from flooding, where to turn off the power at many different locations, how to approach a horse that has busted out of its stall or pen so that you don't end up chasing it down the road, how to unstop a toilet, how to determine what is a serious illness/injury and what is not, and when to call in the professionals.

I am an extremely frugal and innovative personality, so in light of my innate cheapness I have learned to make my own afghans, do my own website design, apply my own acrylic nails, and shop for a months worth of groceries. There are things that I have done that I have learned, pay someone! Like a good pedicure (reaching down to my toes for that long is very uncomfortable), professional ad design and anything electrical.

I love the new found joy of gardening, even if it is just flowers as yet. I hope to try my hand at a veggie garden, one of these years, but I have to admit I have found a lot of excuses so far to not. I get very excited when I see my flowers poking up in the spring/summer and I am very lucky to have planted things that are continuous in their blooming stages. I did it quite by accident! I have a beautiful staggered garden that is blooming one after the other with nothing just sitting around being lax. I would call that a passion... At least one of them. It has to be, or else I wouldn't weed the darned thing and it would all go feral again.

I am a paper crafter... Love working with the papers and different embellishments. I enjoy in particular making cards to hold written sentiments to send to friends of mine. I cannot explain the amount of exhilaration I get from making a card or plaque or invitation designed specifically for someone. I makes my heart sing! To have someone tell me that they have kept one of my cards because it was simply too wonderful to throw out is heady and encouraging stuff. I think the best is when I got to see one of my cards still on my sister's desk from her birthday. She was amazed that I made the flowers that adorned it. Knowing it sits there and reminds her of how special she is to me... That is incredible! I treasure that.

I think blogging is definitely a passion as well. I have two very different blogs and I enjoy each for the very different things that they are. I love words. To sit and write is just the most amazing thing. It is cathartic, energizing, exciting, and for me, releases an incredible amount of endorphins. I am so complete when I can write. I believe that almost anyone who starts and maintains a blog is a writer and is a person passionate about words. I am no different.

If I had to boil down the one thing I would answer if someone asked "what is your passion," I would have to say communication. All of the things that I love to do, be it blogging, gardening, crocheting, paper craft - I love to share about the stuff I find interesting. I love to see a new technique in paper crafting and learn how to perfect that to bring others joy. I love to read new books to develop my writing style and find new phraseology and different word pairings. I am passionate about learning how to communicate with others whether it takes the form of gifting a card, writing down my life on the ranch, sharing what God is teaching me about myself or sitting on the porch in the evening hours with a cocktail and a friend to share the garden with. I want the people closest to me to understand how much they mean to me and I enjoy immensely the different ways I have learned to communicate that love.

I am a communicator, passionate to find the best way to tell you that I enjoy you, hope you are well and I thrive on bringing a smile to your face. If you matter to me, I will make sure that you know it.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Out on a limb...

That's where I have been... Living out there in the big bad analog world. I have been having a blast, actually, and realize that I am an extremely spoiled individual!

I have traveled to my sister's in Louisiana to visit her family. It was a lovely and relaxing trip full of lots of nothing. By that I mean that there was no rush, rush to our days, no schedule to keep and no one to offend should we run late or not show. It was filled with days by the pool, late afternoon walks and two lovely bike rides that convinced me to update my wheels at home. I absolutely adored my niece, who never did let me hold or touch her much. She did, however, find much companionship in the boy, aka "the baby magnate." We made one solitary trip to the Audubon Zoo in the city and the rest of our visitors came to us. Bliss! I am already scheming to find a way to go back. Thus the "high wire" picture reference!

Construction has started on my studio. I am still in shock on this and am very overwhelmed by the lovely way the Man smiles when I whine about how much it costs or how I am so unsure that we can afford it. He simply pats me and says, "It's fine, dear. Enjoy it!" I have drawn up formal plans so that I am sure that builder and I are on the same page. I even did an interior plan complete with scaled moveable furniture so that I can tell if what I have will fit... So far, so good. Now I am really in a pickle, because I want it NOW! Especially since I am writing this from the confines of the coffee shop. I cannot wait until I can simply sneak out to the studio and have it only take two minutes to get there... See? Spoiled!

I have been busily planting and re-planting since I returned home from Louisiana. The tulips have bloomed and are just now starting to wilt, thanks to the brisk Colorado nights. My roses are putting out buds, I have a new sand cherry and some hydrangeas to put in, and I have almost recovered my English violas that the Man tried to kill off while I was gone. I don't know how he managed to kill the one flower I chose that has a reputation here for becoming a nuisance, it is so prolific! Daily watering is imperative here... Something lost on him, apparently. (Actually, the wind did his efforts of watering in... but still!)

To top it off, I won, I won, I won!!!! Spud of Chez Spud has been so gracious and organized as to hold a contest, and I won! My package is a bevy of amazing English things and I am on fire to get my paws on that package! The anglophile in me felt a little "chuffed" at having been chosen by the random number generator. It must have known how much I wanted that spiffy mug and those cards! I don't drink much tea, so I hope that the mug will not be too offended at carrying about my morning coffee. Maybe I will take it to the glorious studio, once it is complete... I have a "coffee area" all drawn into my space.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Things that feel like summer ....

* Mornings I'm awoken to the trills of blackbird chicksu

* Blue birds flying criss cross acrossed the road as I drive

* Nights spent lounging by the barrel fire eating hot dogs and s'mores

* Coffee on the porch in the morning watching Sarah turn out horses accompanied by her faithful... cat

* The sound of the sprinkler and the buzz of bees in the front garden

* Visitors on vacation and trips in the car

* The Annual Battle of the Dandelion

* The smell of cut grass

* Afternoon showers

* Ice cream with fresh berries

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